• Warandelaan 2, Montesquieu Building, room M 736

    5037 AB Tilburg



Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Esther Keymolen is Professor of Digital Technology Regulation, who operates at the crossroads of regulation, philosophy of technology, STS, and policy at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (Tilburg University). Esther also holds the position of Vice Dean of Research of Tilburg Law School.

Esther has a background in philosophy of technology and postphenomenology. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in pop music. Her research focuses on the role of trust and privacy in networked and smart environments. In her book Trust on The Line, she develops a conceptual trust model, which she applies to analyse different topical cases, such as: Airbnb, smartphones used as hotel keys, and personalized online advertisement. Esther’s work has been published in key journals in the domain of regulation and technology, philosophy and technology, and STS. In research, she always combines conceptual and normative analysis with empirical approaches (interviews, observations, focus groups, surveys). This provides her with very detailed and real-life knowledge on regulatory challenges in the data-driven domain. Currently she co-leads, together with dr. Jurgen Goossens an NWO Blockchain/distributed ledger project on ‘The Role and Responsibilities of Public Actors in Distributed Networks Transparency, Trust and Legitimacy by Design’.


Esther teaches "Law, Ethics and Entrepreneurship" at the Master's Program Data Science and Entrepreneurship


April 2022-Present
Full Professor of Digital Technology Regulation


October 2021-Present

Vice-Dean of Research, Tilburg Law School


January 2021- Present

Associate Professor Philosophy of Data-Driven Technology

Universiteit Tilburg, Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society


Oktober 2018-December 2020

Assistant Professor 

Universiteit Tilburg, Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society


January 2017-September 2018

Director of Education eLaw

Universiteit Leiden, Leiden Law School, eLaw (Center for Law and Digital Technologies)


March 2016-September 2018

Assistant Professor Philosophy of Digital Technologies

Universiteit Leiden, Leiden Law School, eLaw (Center for Law and Digital Technologies)


July 2014-March 2016

University Lecturer and Academic Coordinator

Universiteit Leiden, Leiden Law School, eLaw (Center for Law and Digital Technologies) 


April 2011-April 2016

Doctoral researcher

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Faculty of Philosophy


August 2008-April 2011

Scientific staff member of the 

Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR)


October 2006-March 2008

Student assistant to Prof.dr. Jos de Mul

Erasmus University, Faculty of Philosophy


March 2006-June 2006

Student assistant to Prof.dr. Mireille Hildebrandt

Erasmus University, Law School.

PhD supervision

Current courses

Click here for my courses.

Education/Academic qualification

Philosophy, Doctoral Degree, Trust on the Line. A Philosophical Exploration of Trust in the Networked Era., Erasmus University Rotterdam

Award Date: 21 Apr 2016

Philosophy, Master’s Degree, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Award Date: 13 Feb 2008

Art forms, Bachelor’s Degree, Vocal jazz and pop music, Codarts, Rotterdam

Award Date: 31 Aug 2004

Philosophy, Bachelor’s Degree, Erasmus University Rotterdam

External positions

Ministry of Finance, Tax Office, Customs and Benefits Agency advise how to deal with risk models and algorithms. (Ministerie van Financiën, Adviescommissie Analytics)

17 Mar 202317 Mar 2026

Advising on the ethics and issues of digitisation in the provinces' activities and policies. (IPO)

16 Jan 202316 Jan 2027

Advising on ethical issues in the data-driven domain within the Municipality of Eindhoven and for the Brainport Smart District project (Gemeente Eindhoven/Brainport Smart District)

1 Apr 2022 → …

Advising on ethical issues surrounding technology deployment in the police force (Ethische Klankbordgroep Nationale Politie)

1 Jan 2022 → …


  • trust
  • privacy
  • postphenomenology
  • data ethics
  • theory of mediation
  • digital government


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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